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Fetal alcohol syndrome

An unusual mixture of birth defects that arise as a direct result of extreme continued alcohol consumption by the baby’s mother throughout the pregnancy.

The affected child has diminished growth, small eyes and a small head and brain. He or she can also have a small jaw, cleft palate, joint abnormalities or heart defects. As a newborn, the baby sucks poorly, is bad-tempered due to alcohol withdrawal and sleeps badly.

Certain affected newborns die during the first few weeks of their life. Those that survive can experience delayed mental development and are, to a certain degree, physically and mentally disabled.

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